HUMOR IN BLUE: Night Court

There's nothing like a confession to seal the deal ...

By Dave Grossi  |   Sep 4, 2017

[Publisher’s Note: Humor in Blue is a new column by Calibre Press alum Dave Grossi. Similar in style to his hilarious eight-part Lawyers I’ve Known series, these eight stories have been gleaned from the warped mind of Dave himself. The names of the players have been changed, the locations masked (somewhat), a few embellishments added here and there, and some of the characters, while real people, combined and/or merged for brevity’s sake. Also, the Statute of Limitations on crude, lewd, lascivious and sometimes downright improper, albeit side-splitting, behavior has expired. Enjoy.]

Arrests are nice. Physical evidence is good, but confessions are really great. Every cop likes to get a confession to a crime. It really ties up the case file nicely.

One evening, after a major burglary arrest, the case investigator, Tony Mancini, came to Precinct Sergeant Ralph Peterson and asked for his help. The dicks have been talking to this suspect for hours.

They even put him on the Photocopier Lie Detector device, where they preload three sheets of paper in the copier: The first two with TRUE written on them, the third with LIE. They then have the suspect put his hand on the glass, close the lid, and ask to him state his name. As he does, a detective hits the print button and out spits TRUE. They then ask him to state his address. Another push of the button and TRUE spits out. Then they ask him an important and incriminating question about the burglary. As the suspect denies his involvement, a third button push spits out LIE. But that old tried-and-true (but unconventional) trick failed to break the guy.

They had him solid for this most recent entry, but the physical evidence tied him to at least a half dozen other residential break-ins. A ton of property was outstanding. Not only could recovery of that property seal the deal on this case, it would mean a lot of clearances for the other six or so entries. They needed a confession.

Community college graduation robes are a very versatile tool. And Sgt. Ralph Peterson took advantage of the offer to keep his black graduation robe when the local college decided to go unisex and buy all maroon robes rather than the white ones for female graduates and black ones for males. He knew one day it would come in handy.

Sgt. Ralph Peterson was a fairly handsome guy. Tall, lean, grayish hair. Square face. He looked great in his black commencement garb. He could’ve passed for a lawyer (except his integrity was too solid). But Ralph wasn’t beyond pushing the envelope a little when it was needed. As soon as the processing of the prisoner was completed, Det. Tony Mancini took the suspect over to an unused admin office to meet the Sarge.

Careful to not introduce himself as Judge Peterson or in any way imply that he was a judge, Peterson began his speech with, “You’re charged with burglary, young man. Now, bail can be set either very low, if you cooperate with these nice police officers and help them recover some of the property you reportedly stole. Or it can be set very high, which will guarantee that you spend more than a few days in jail. Which will it be, son?”

“I’ll tell them where I fenced the stuff, sir.”

“That’s good, son. Now go back with the nice detectives.”

Whereupon about a dozen search warrants were drawn up. And a few pieces of evidence recovered that night, in fact.

The following morning, with Arraignment Court in session the burglar was brought up to the courtroom with the rest of the night’s arrestees for his formal arraignment on the burglary charge. As the judge was reading the charges, the young lad said “I’ve already heard it, Your Honor. I’ve already been arraigned.”

“When was that?” asked the judge, looking somewhat confused.

“Night court,” said the burglar.

“That’s a TV show,” said the Judge. “We don’t have night court here.”

“But, but … ”

“Next case, please!”

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Dave Grossi
Dave Grossi is a retired police lieutenant from upstate NY now residing in southwest FL. He was the Lead Instructor for the Calibre Press, Inc. Street Survival Seminars from 1988 through 2000.